Reini Sampl thrilled with breakthrough performance on home soil

Reini Sampl enjoyed a major turning point in his season at the MJP Arena in Austria last weekend.

The Austrian driver, who drives with hand controls due to injuries sustained in a skiing accident in the 1990s, has struggled to match the pace of the rest of the field this season because of the extra workload brought about by the controls in his Pantera RX6 racing car.

For his home event Sampl ditched the sequential gear shifting system that he had been using at the first three race weekends in favour of a new paddle shift system. The changed proved to be hugely successful as Sampl won instantly in his opening heat race on Saturday, before comfortably making it into the semi-finals on pace.

„That’s my speed, the speed when I drive is much higher, I’m much more confortable with the car,“ he said. „Before I was always working with the systems, not focusing on the car control. Now I can focus on the car control.“

„It’s easy now, it’s only driving,“ he added. „Before I was at war with myself with the hands and the stick and all of the other stuff in the car.“

The change of shifting system also means that Sampl can also use the anti-lag system (ALS) in his car for the first time as well.

„This is the first time I can use the ALS. Before with the other sift system the ALS didn’t work and that’s I why I stepped the speed up,“ Sampl said.

Sadly a clutch problem prevented any further progress for Sampl on Sunday. Nevertheless he left the track in a hugely positive mood.

„For me it was a little bit of bad luck, my clutch broke but I’m so happy with my new gear shift system, now I can drive the best I can,“ he said. „I lost maybe two seconds to the fastest guy in qualifying before, now my level is improving step by step and the system works really well. I can drive fast!“

„By the end of the season, with the systems working, my driving level will be what I can really do,“ Sampl continued. „I can drive on the level of some of the fast drivers like Tamara Molinaro – I stuck with her. Maybe not the Hansens, they’re too far ahead but that’s okay. Now the car works I’m really happy.“

„I’m now showing what disabled people can do. That’s not why I’m here, I’m here to drive but it’s good to show this on the the side, not just to people of Austria, but all over the world.“

 

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